Six full squads and a mixed relay team will represent Britain at the event in Samorin, Slovakia

Trials winners Emelia Gorecka and Ben Connor form part of a 40-strong British team named for the European Cross Country Championships in Samorin, Slovakia, on December 10.

Six full squads for the senior, under-23 and under-20 races will be joined by four athletes representing GB in the senior mixed relay for the first time.

Two-time under-20 individual gold medallist Gorecka secured success at the trials race in Liverpool on Saturday after a series of injury struggles and later explained her shock at her victory.

“It was such a strong field so I’m just delighted to qualify and then to win is a massive bonus,” she told AW.

Joining her on the senior women’s team are 2014 Euro Cross champion Gemma Steel, who finished third at the trials, plus Lily Partridge, Charlotte Taylor, Steph Twell and Elle Vernon.

The in-form Jessica Judd was runner-up to Gorecka in Liverpool and so secured her spot on the under-23 squad alongside her fellow 2016 gold medal-winning under-23 team-mates Amy Griffiths and Phoebe Law, plus Philippa Bowden, Amy-Eloise Neale and Mhairi Maclennan.

Connor formed part of the victorious senior men’s team last year in Chia and will be hoping for similar success as he is joined on the team for Samorin by GB debutants Alex Teuten and Sam Stabler, who were second and third respectively at the trials, plus Dewi Griffiths. Tom Lancashire and Andrew Butchart complete the team as they gain the two discretionary places.

senior-men-liverpool-cross-challenge-2017-by-Mark-Shearman

Mahamed Mahamed was the first under-23 in the trials race and will now be looking to add to the individual Euro Cross bronze he won last year as he is joined on the team by Patrick Dever, Daniel Jarvis, Chris Olley, Jack Rowe and Joe Steward.

Trials winners Ben Dijkstra and Harriet Knowles-Jones will lead the under-20 squads, with Knowles-Jones having won medals in that age-group in her last two Euro Cross appearances – silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016.

GB will also have a team in the inaugural mixed relay, with Cameron Boyek, Melissa Courtney, Tom Marshall and Sarah McDonald taking on an event which includes a first leg of around 1800m and three legs of roughly 1500m.

“The trials showcased some real quality and as a result, we are able to select an incredibly strong British team to go to Samorin for these prestigious championships,” said team leader Rob Denmark. “We are taking some experienced athletes who are proven championship performers but I am pleased to see a number of athletes step up at the trials and earn their place on the team.

“We have a strong tradition of success at these championships and I’m looking forward to us challenging for medals both individually and as a team.”

British team for the European Cross Country Championships

Senior men
Andrew Butchart
Ben Connor
Dewi Griffiths
Tom Lancashire
Sam Stabler
Alex Teuten

Senior women
Emelia Gorecka
Lily Partridge
Gemma Steel
Charlotte Taylor
Steph Twell
Elle Vernon

Under-23 men
Patrick Dever
Daniel Jarvis
Mahamed Mahamed
Chris Olley
Jack Rowe
Joe Steward

Under-23 women
Philippa Bowden
Amy-Eloise Neale
Amy Griffiths
Jess Judd
Phoebe Law
Mhairi Maclennan

Junior men
Scott Beattie
Ben Dijkstra
Jake Heyward
William Richardson
Lachlan Wellington
Matthew Willis

Junior women
Niamh Brown
Cari Hughes
Harriet Knowles-Jones
Khahisa Mhlanga
Erin Wallace
Victoria Weir

Senior mixed relay
Cameron Boyek
Melissa Courtney
Tom Marshall
Sarah McDonald

» Note: This team list has been updated since the original announcement, with Tom Marshall replacing the injured Charlie Grice in the relay team

Fionnuala McCormack leads Irish entries

A 27-strong Ireland team has been named for Samorin, with two-time Euro Cross champion Fionnuala McCormack set to make a record 15th appearance.

Paul Pollock heads the senior men’s team after his Irish Life Health title win.

Senior men
Paul Pollock
Kevin Dooney
Hugh Armstrong
John Travers
Sean Tobin
Kevin Maunsell

Senior women
Shona Heaslip
Kerry O’Flaherty
Michelle Finn
Lizzie Lee
Fionnuala Ross
Fionnuala McCormack

Under-23 men
Tom O’Keeffe
Eoin Strutt

Under-23 women
Bethanie Murray

Under-20 men
Craig McMeechan
Brian Fay
Charlie O’Donovan
Fearghal Curtin
James Edgar
Darragh McElhinney

Under-20 women
Laura Nicholson
Stephanie Cotter
Jodie McCann
Fian Sweeney
Sophie Murphy
Fiona Everard